Left To Tell – Immaculeé Ilibagiza

April 30, 2006

This is by far the best book I have read in all of 2005 and so far in 2006. Through just reading this book, I feel like I know the author as a close friend and she has changed my life forever. Immaculee was engulfed in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 in which a million people were slaughtered including all of her family in just three months. She was fortunate to have been hidden in a secret bathroom squashed with seven other women for around 91 days with minimal food and just her father’s rosary.

Immaculee writes about her horrendous story in Rwanda before and during the genocide. Her story is one of great teachings to many people because of how she spent countless hours in the bathroom praying, meditating and seeking support from God. In the bathroom, she had “visions” of working for the United Nations and then learnt English through a few books in the darkened bathroom.

She then goes on to talk about how she was saved and then forgived the killers of her family and all her friends. She is purely guided by what God has in store for her, and amidst the Rwandan holocaust, she found deep forgiveness.

The greatest thing is that through mental imagery, visualisation and prayer/affirmations, she attracted the United Nations job. For the first two weeks, she went into the office and sat the whole day pushing for the job and didn’t get it. She got it in the end through persistence and attraction! She also did this, seeking her perfect husband – and she got that too! She is now in the USA, working with the UN and married with two kids. Both Immaculee and Dr Wayne Dyer are touring together for their new books.

I was so hooked onto this book that I finished it in four hours, split over three days. The book also brought tears to my eyes through her strong teaching of forgiveness and love. I highly suggest you grab your copy and read it – this book will change your life forever, like it did mine.

Get your copy!


My Three Shocking Truths About Wealth

March 29, 2006

Here are my three shocking truths about wealth:

  1. You have full right to be prosperous.
  2. It is not wrong; but RIGHT to be prosperous.
  3. Your thoughts make you what you are today.

You see, from a spiritual angle, this makes total sense. If you believe in a higher power, source or God, you may believe you are the child of the wealthiest, richest and most abundant person. If this is the case, you must be wealthy, for you have a wealthy heritage, right?

Those who read my work, become coaching clients, come to my seminars, or know me personally will realise how vital shocking truth number three is to me! You are where you are today because of your thoughts and your thoughts today will take you forward. If you don't like your thoughts at the moment, you are surely not going to like what's awaiting you. You must only attract what you want in your life. Everything I am doing now is only what brings me joy and I am fortunate to be in such a situation. If you are unable to get out of something you don't fully enjoy, it doesn't matter. Make the most out of your present situation. Give it a spin and see the positive. Figure an ends-goal it gives you and work towards that. If you do that, all unnecessary things will simply fall out of the way.

What are your top shocking truths about wealth?

My Book Wish-List

February 10, 2006

I enjoy reading books – fiction and non-fiction. My current rate is around ten books a month. Some I get finished in a day, some I get done over two. Others take me up to a week. I wouldn’t call myself a book addict. Mistake. I would call myself a book addict but I do it purely for the awareness and learning purposes. Of course, with that, I totally enjoy what I read. If I don’t like the book at that particular time, I’ll return it or stack it on my shelf until I feel like picking it up.

Reading has been instilled in me when I was growing up. My parents had always thought that it was really important to read a variety of things – magazines, newspapers, books, but more importantly to do it consistently. To be frank, they actually taught me a whole host of personal growth tools without even realising it (eg: consistency!) My father loves to buy The Times, or The Telegraph newspaper. With all the other little news pull-outs that come with it, there’s so much beauty to delve into. I’ve always been fond of travelling, so I remember as a kid, I used to go straight to the Travel section to see what’s available – not that I was going to travel.

My father ensured I read at least two articles a day. I’d also read various story books at times too. It was until around 16 when I really went for the personal development books and to date, I must have gone through over 250. Personal growth is absolutely vital to me. In every book that I dive into, although I have an open mind, I still seek the following:-

  1. What can I get out of it?
  2. What can I get out of it to share with others?

And I believe that it is through these that I had achieved above 95% in all my written essays in college and at university. I have been told on numerous occasions that I write well. My view is that my writing still needs to be dramatically increased in quality, but I am able to acknowledge the growth in my writing. Just surf back to about eight months ago on this blog and see what I wrote to make that comparison.

Make a choice today to read. Pick up a book and start reading. Don’t force yourself to read more than you can. When you feel it’s time to stop, then stop. Return when you’re ready. We are living in a world where there is a plethora of every single thing. Everything is in abundance. From the UK, we have resources that can take us to the Amazon rainforest without even physically moving. In the same way, Australians can visit Thailand without even going there. We are lucky to be living in an age of bountiful resources – we just have to open our eyes, ears and hearts to all that is available and one curious way of doing that is through books. Expand your horizons.

I always like to keep a large list of books that I wish to obtain. Like Amazon, I call it my wish list. Every now and again, I return to it and I see which is the next one to get and amazingly due to my approriate intending, it usually does manifest into my life. To continue my intending, below is a list of books that I’m working on attracting. Would you like to help me attract?

At this point, I’m currently reading James Frey’s “A Million Little Pieces

Books that I am intending to manifest:

Time to Think: Listening to Ignite the Human Mind by Nancy Kline

A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett

Unleashing Your Brilliance by Brian E. Walsh
The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life by Steve Leveen

Jump Start Your Brain by Doug Hall
Flawless Consulting by Peter Block

Do you have any other recommendations?

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What would you want inscribed on your tombstone?

January 30, 2006

Back at college, I remember a time when a man came to speak in one of our assemblies. This guy, I think his name was George, was HIV positive. He spoke about his partner who also had the disease and passed away about five years ago. My college was a Roman Catholic one, and our assembly was in the chapel. I wasn’t really sure what the purpose of the talk really was, apart from informing us of the danger of aids.

He spoke about how his partner and how she was aware of how long she had left to live. In that little time, she had organised her whole funeral exactly the way she wanted it to be. She got the coffin to perfect size, took it to her flat, painted it pink, red, blue, green and yellow as if it was multi-striped. Inside it, she used a scalpel to transcribe George’s name. She had selected the hyms to be sung at her funeral and she also told George the specific space she wanted to be burried, next to her mother.

She also told George what shape she wanted the tombstone to be, what she wanted carved on it and what type of material she wanted used for it. She wanted pure white marble, shaped like a chapel entrance and on it inscribed, “the one who lived life to the fullest.”

For me, sitting there and listening to this made a little chill run down my back. I was taken aback with such a peculiar story, but something inside me was inspired to continue leading a life that I loved, and promoted my belief in really being able to design exactly what I want to do, be and have. I felt myself sit up, back straight and motivated to get out there and bring to my reality all those dreams I’ve ever had and will continue to have. Every now and then, I mentally take myself back to that chapel, sitting in the second row and captivated by this wonderful story, I relive those moments to hear the story and get re-inspired and motivated to continue on my path towards success.

At that point, my thoughts turned from how unfortunate she was, to really how fortunate she was. The little time she had made her think about her situation and actually spend some time looking at her life and how she had lived it. Was she feeling successful, or was she pondering over all her missed opportunities and notable failures? I think that by being told that she had only a few months to live, she was really able to grasp onto the fact that life is there to be lived and she was able to do all that she had written down on a list nearly 5 years ago when working on her goals. Not only did she achieve all she wanted and left with satisfaction, she was also able to express how she felt to the world with the inscription on her tombstone.

My message here is for you to live today as if you were told that you only had a few months to a year remaining in this life. Look over your life and ask yourself, “have I really achieved everything I wanted to?” If the answer is no, make a list of what you want to do, and commit to beginning that process of completion today. If you feel you’ve completed everything, and when you have done all you wish too, “work on your funeral!” What do you want people to remember you for? Although I never knew George’s partner, I know that she felt that she lived life to the fullest, and for me when I see an individual utilise their full potential, it movitates me to strive for more excellence in my own life.

The thing is, I feel George’s partner was really lucky. She was lucky that she got told she only had a few months left. Many people don’t even get told this. Yesterday, my partner’s best friend’s father unexpectedly left this world. He collapsed and that was it. I’ve learnt to take each moment as if were the last. In each moment, I will give my all, and be present in the moment and live it for what it is. I shall play full out.

If I could design my funeral, I’d have some really cool motivating songs sung from the Jackson 5, Mariah Carey and Paula Abdul. I’d leave out the slow, sad hyms and devotional songs because they wouldn’t be a reflection of who I am in the particular moments of life. Of course there are times when I love slow songs, but those are the ones which inspire and motivate me to get even more juiced.

At my funeral, I’d like to be placed in a coffin that bore the flag of Nigeria – green, white and green. I feel a particular connection with the land of West Africa and would love to be put away to rest in peace with my personal nostalgia going with – that’s where my real attachment lies, I think. I’d like the funeral after-social to be held at a beach, with the sound of the soft waves resembling my coolness and compassionate attitude towards all life. After all, the beach is my real home. Also, I wouldn’t want so many people to say a “few words” about me at the service, but there are a select few I have in mind. I’d like to keep it that way for now.

On my tombstone, I’d want the following inscribed: “son, father, husband, brother, musician, geneticist, scientist, coach, consultant, forensic expert, brown-eyed, drummer, multi-percussionist, income generator, writer, speaker, author, blogger, entrepreneur, traveller, bread-winner – just a few things to show that I am a proud life-experienced individual”

Let me make one important point: as you continue through life, you’re values, beliefs and thought system will continue to change. Appreciate the fact that will also alter what you want transcribed on your tombstone.

Those of you who know me will realise that I am not ready to go, for I have not totally achieved what I want in my life. I know that I shall continue to manifest what I want to until I am proud of really being a “life-experienced” individual.

What would you want inscribed on your tombstone?

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Get The Life You Love And Live It!

December 13, 2005

Get the life you love and live by Arvind Devalia is an awesome book. I promised that once I’ve finished working through Arvind’s second book, I’ll post a review, so here it is. I found the book to be really inspiring as its filled with ideas, thoughts and ways for one to move forward in each aspect of their life so that they improve all round.

When Arvind sent me his first book, I felt lucky and priviledged to have a copy of a good friend’s book, one which really helped me to identify my strengths and improve on my weaknesses. When his second book came through my door two weeks later, I was further astounded by the power it had. It was really good to see how Arvind had used his own personal experiences, one which most of us can relate to, in order to move forward.

To me, his book portrays a bold statement that every person has many strengths and it is by utilising these strengths, and things we love, that we are able to get the life we love and be able to really live it. Think of the love of your life as your greatest strength. Long before reading this book I had developed a strong awareness of my key strengths and weaknesses, but I hadn’t given serious consideration to the idea that it is the real way to get ahead. With Arvind’s action-focused book, I had space to write down my ideas and then take action on them

Since I received the book over a week ago, I’ve been working on it for half an hour each day. Although I’ll need more time to see the real impact, I’ve completed it, noted down my actions and have begun to take action. With 25 steps to success, Arvind has really helped to look at each area of my life at such a crucial time – the departure of this year, and the arrival of the next.

Many personal development books contain miserably pointless exercises, but I can’t recall even a single pointless quiz that forces you to rate yourself on some arbitrary scale. It’s absolutely awesome!

If you haven’t got Arvind’s book, I urge you to get it. As an individual who has read over 50 personal development books this year alone, Arvind’s will meet my top 10 because of the style of writing, the way its action-focused, and how the book helps you monitor your results.

Get it signed, directly from him here: Get The Life You Love And Live It

Swimming in the Clouds

July 10, 2005

Towards the end of April, I began to work with another charity called AgeConcern – this time raising money for the elderly in need as I took up the opportunity of a lifetime and a lifetime goal – swimming in the clouds.

An early morning journey from Harrow to Chatteris took just over an hour and we arrived at the North London Parachute Centre right on schedule. I went to the registration trailer and signed up. Half an hour later, we had some training and watched a video that showed the experience. Noticing that I wasn’t the only “first timer” there washed away some nerves. It was a calm anticipation.

It was my turn. I put on the straps and looked like a real skydiver for the first time in my life, although I felt the pain of the straps tied so hard in the most awkward of places. As I met my photographer and instructor, we entered the plane and filed in. We sat toboggan style in two rows, facing the back of the plane. I was on the side of the door and a few people back from it. We all got in and the plane began its taxi along the runway. We lined up and took off. That was a powerful plane. I love taking off and I had never experienced one like this. I could see the ground going away and down through the open door. That was great. As we reached about 10,000 feet or so, the instructor began to hook up to me and run through the first of 3 safety checks. My mind was still on what was happening at the moment, no time to think about anything else. We finished with the prep work and went up on our knees.

As I put my legs under the plane and my head back, I was instructed to keep my hands crossed to my chest and to look at the engine of the plane. The photographer had left the plane and BOOM – we left the plane too. By the time I could understand where I was, I was trying to smile for the cameraman in front of me whilst flying into the ice. When we reached our jump height we descended from a sitting position. I was the first to go, but all the nerves had been wiped out, as the instructor was so friendly that you couldn’t possibly have any nerves. We jumped out into the clouds and instantly I was in a whole different world. There was a guy going solo, and another with a video camera attached to his helmet. As I watched they jumped out and within a second were swallowed by the clouds around them. It was a magnificent sight and I was in heaven. It was worth the whole thing just to witness that. Words cannot describe how exhilarating it was.

Many sensations hit me at once. All of them were beautiful. I will recount them as I remember them. The first thing I was aware of were the clouds and we were engulfed in them and that sensation of falling, (which felt more like floating in the wind) it was like diving into a lake, but instead of hitting the water, it was just wind and this moist white vapour. As my body stabilized I regained my equilibrium. I ran through my checks that I had been going over and over before the jump. And when I was done, the sky opened up and we were through the clouds. Houses were little dots. And I could see forever through the sporadic openings in the clouds. It was rather cloudy and so I could not see continuously but it didn’t matter. I had tunnel vision and I would look at one spot, then move my eyes to another.

I checked my altimeter, coming up on 4000 feet, which is the altitude at which the instructor pulled the cord. The parachute opened and it felt like I went from falling to being pulled upward. I melted into my harness and let out a sigh of bliss. I had never felt such wonderful sensations in my life. I didn’t have a tense muscle in my body. I must say I was surprised. I had expected it to be the adrenaline rush of all time, although that’s not what I was out for.

I was looking for the feeling of total release and complete peace. I found it over 10,000 feet in the air. I looked down on the world and it was beautiful. I was flying. No plane, no fake wings, no propulsion system, just gliding on the wind with no cares or worries. My instructor took us through a few turns, adjusting our coarse. I can compare this to a roller coaster. But a roller coaster is violent compared to this. It’s just gliding. I felt it in my stomach as it tickled a little. It was also a rush and very exhilarating. As we got closer to the ground my instructor taught me how to make a landing. We glided in. One minute we were fast approaching the ground and then we were gently sliding on our butts. It was very fun. It was like sitting, not falling, on a slide, and then sliding a couple of feet. It was a great flight and a great landing. When I left, I looked outside and up to the clouds. A big smile went across my face and even though I was looking up at the clouds I was seeing them below me again. And I felt that floating peaceful feeling all over again. I don’t think I’ll ever look at the sky quite the same way again… I’ve been there.